Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca loses bid to get out of prison during COVID-19 pandemic

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Ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is seen outside the L.A. federal courthouse after he was convicted of obstruction of justice and other charges. A judge denied Baca's request to be free on bond while he appeals his conviction. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is seen outside the L.A. federal courthouse after he was convicted of obstruction of justice and other charges. A judge denied Baca’s request to be free on bond while he appeals his conviction. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A judge has denied a request from disgraced former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to be released from federal prison in Texas because of the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ruled Sunday that although 77-year-old Baca faced a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, releasing him from custody on bail would not mitigate the threat to his health. The judge pointed out the precautions taken in federal prisons, including the screening of staff and the end of social visits, along with the risks posed by a return trip to Southern California and the higher infection rate in L.A. County.

“Sadly, there is no safe location,” Anderson wrote in his decision.

The judge also denied Baca’s request to have his conviction and sentence vacated.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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